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Thread: Can't get out of VESA...

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  1. #1
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    Default Can't get out of VESA...

    I have an:

    ATI Technologies Inc M24 1P [Radeon Mobility X600]

    currently on Jaunty. I tried installing the 9.6 drivers, and I know it's not supported - this laptop is a litle over 3 years old, I figured I didn't have to check if my card was supported. That was my first mistake... So, I got a memory allocation error upon module insertion.

    So, I uninstalled it and this is where it started getting weird. The open source Radeon driver wouldn't load by default even when I would specify it... and then X would just hang before the log in screen. I could still SSH into the machine, and top showed Xorg eating 100% CPU. The machine itself (other than SSH) was completely unresponsive to anything.

    I figured maybe there were some left over ATI modules/crap in there, checked my xorg.conf, did the dpkg --purge, etc. - couldn't figure it out. The load I had on the machine was old, and alot of other people had been using it... so, I decided it was time for a re-install anyways. But, the problem persisted even after a clean install of Jaunty; which has worked flawlessly in the past. In fact, the livecd exhibited the same issue unless I specified "Safe Graphics Mode". Which of course left me using the VESA module.

    I then began trying some more solutions, updated X (to the latest experimental PPA), tried Tormold's Radeon driver... nothing helped. Then I tried to use the LiveCD of Intrepid as a test, which had a version of X that was compatible with the last supported release of Catalyst for my card. However, Intrepid had the same issues. So... to satisfy my own morbid curiosity at this point, I started playing with Hardy. The radeon driver would actually load on Hardy, X started and seemed to be okay... However, the screen was filled with garbage - blocks of pixels would flash red. But, at least it was working... So, I tried to install the Catalyst 9.3 (last supported release) in Hardy... and I got the same garbage filled pixelation on the screen.

    I've checked through log files and it showed no errors in loading the radeon module, in fact everything looked exactly as it should... but this all leaves me at a total loss. I'm stuck with the VESA module right now... and I'm starting to think that I somehow fried the card. My only option is to consider a hardware issue - although, then I should have some issues using VESA as well.

    I'm totally open to suggestions at this point, because I have no idea... I have some logs and my xorg - pretty standard stuff though...

    Has anyone even heard of something like this happening?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    lspci -v
    Code:
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc M24 1P [Radeon Mobility X600]
    	Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Device 3082
    	Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 10
    	Memory at c0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
    	I/O ports at 4000 [size=256]
    	Memory at b0100000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
    	[virtual] Expansion ROM at b0120000 [disabled] [size=128K]
    	Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
    	Capabilities: [58] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
    	Capabilities: [80] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-
    	Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting <?>
    	Kernel modules: radeonfb
    ~Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You mentioned you started with Jaunty; which driver were you running with before installing Catalyst 9.6 and what functionality did you have ?
    Last edited by bridgman; 08-08-2009 at 03:22 AM.

  3. #3
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    9-3 is the last driver thats possible to install. trying anything newer must fail.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    You mentioned you started with Jaunty; which driver were you running with before installing Catalyst 9.6 and what functionality did you have ?
    Jaunty was very good at detecting my hardware and installing the Open Source Radeon driver right out of the box. The Radeon driver was good enough for the most part, basic 3D functionality - nothing sexy. At the very least it gave me my native resolution (1440x900), right now I'm stuck at 1024x768.

    Now, Jaunty still autodetects the card however when it loads the Radeon driver... the machine pretty much freezes. No keyboard response whatsoever, and if I SSH into it from another machine - Xorg is cooking my CPU.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    9-3 is the last driver thats possible to install. trying anything newer must fail.
    And fail it does... go figure a 3 year old laptop wouldn't be supported anymore. At one point I rolled BACK to Intrepid so that I could use 9.3, and I got the same results with Xorg eating my CPU.

    ~~~~~
    I want to blame this on Xorg, however this has always worked before... This problem only came up after attempting (stupidly) to install 9.6.

    Is it possible that the driver changed something on the physical card, some firmware or something? I'm grabbing at straws... I know.

    Thanks for the help...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by internalkernel View Post
    Is it possible that the driver changed something on the physical card, some firmware or something? I'm grabbing at straws... I know.
    The driver and installer update a lot of files but don't play with any nonvolatile memory on the card. Was your reinstall of Jaunty "complete" in the sense that the partitions were wiped and everything was reloaded from scratch, or is there a chance that something was left over from the previous install ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    The driver and installer update a lot of files but don't play with any nonvolatile memory on the card. Was your reinstall of Jaunty "complete" in the sense that the partitions were wiped and everything was reloaded from scratch, or is there a chance that something was left over from the previous install ?
    /boot, and / are always wiped and formatted... /home is rarely. But, I get this consistent behavior through a LiveCD as well.

    If it did have to do with my /home partition, I should still be able to get to the login screen - but Xorg locks up the machine as soon as GDM starts. I don't even get a chance to login.

    What's worse is that (through SSH and top) I can see Xorg eating my CPU, killing it does nothing. The machine is still "usable" in the sense that anything I try to do takes forever of course... I can kill gdm, but Xorg turns into a zombie...

    ~~
    Output from Top:
    Code:
      PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND                                        
     3223 root      20   0  591m 8040 4836 R  108  0.5   3:04.01 Xorg                                           
     3170 root      20   0  5180 1804 1592 S   48  0.1   1:21.11 hald-addon-stor                                
     3643 root      20   0  2448 1184  912 R   44  0.1   0:15.47 top                                            
        1 root      20   0  3084 1888  564 S    0  0.1   0:01.23 init

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by internalkernel View Post
    Now, Jaunty still autodetects the card however when it loads the Radeon driver... the machine pretty much freezes. No keyboard response whatsoever, and if I SSH into it from another machine - Xorg is cooking my CPU.
    Try radeonhd:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-radeonhd
    Code:
    Driver "radeonhd"
    It may be a bug in radeon.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartjeB View Post
    Try radeonhd:
    It may be a bug in radeon.
    I went that direction for a bit as well... I usually install all ati/radeon drivers, and then specify ati in the xorg.conf - technically that's a driver wrapper and should load the correct module depending on my hardware. BUT... out of desperation, I manually put the driver in.

    Here's a snippet from Xorg.0.log with radeonhd specified in xorg.conf:
    Code:
    (II) LoadModule: "radeonhd"
    (II) Loading /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers//radeonhd_drv.so
    dlopen: /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers//radeonhd_drv.so: file too short
    (EE) Failed to load /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers//radeonhd_drv.so
    (II) UnloadModule: "radeonhd"
    (EE) Failed to load module "radeonhd" (loader failed, 7)
    (EE) No drivers available.
    I'm thinking I may bump up to the "xorg-edgers fresh X crack" ppa and see if I get any results from that...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by internalkernel View Post
    Is it possible that the driver changed something on the physical card, some firmware or something? I'm grabbing at straws... I know.
    Also grabbing at straws, but if you haven't already, try taking the battery out for a while.

  10. #10
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    OK, let's start switching things off and try to see what function is causing the problem. Run "man radeon" and look through the output to find the xorg conf option to disable acceleration. Put that in your xorg.conf and start again.

    Radeonhd won't work for your GPU btw; the radeonhd driver starts at 5xx and goes up from there, but the X600 is a 3xx part.

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